On Thursday, May 4th, Brice and Katie Roberts' worst fear became reality. On that day, their oldest son, six-year-old Carter, was diagnosed with cancer. Specifically, Carter was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma ("DIPG"). DIPG is highly aggressive and difficult to treat cancerous tumor at the base of his brain. DIPG is rare (200-400 cases in the United States annually) and is located in a part of the brain stem called the pons. The pons controls essential bodily fuctions (heart beat, breathing, eye movement and balance). To put it bluntly, as far as childhood cancer goes, DIPG is one of the worst.
Here is the good news: One day after being diagnosed, Carter was selected for the final open spot in a new trial of DIPG treatment at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. This was a blessing from God. On May 8th, Brice, Katie, and Carter traveled to St. Jude, where they will stay for the next two to three months. In late May, Carter's two brothers, five-year-old Brady and ten-month-old Tate, will travel to Memphis to join the rest of the family.
At St. Jude, Carter will take part in the most cutting-edge radiation and chemotherapy. Carter's treatment will take place from Monday to Friday each week. Although the radiation and chemotherapy will last about eight weeks, Carter will have to stay at St. Jude for another couple of weeks after the treatment wraps up to be evaluated. With a lot of prayers and faith, we hope that this new trial will find a cure for DIPG, which is currently untreatable and that Carter breaks the 0% trend and defies all odds.
Katie is a second grade teacher at St. Peter's Catholic School in Schulte, KS and Brice is in Supply Chain at Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, KS. They are lucky to have employers that are very supportive in a time like this. They also have a big family and a lot of friends – especially those from Brice's hometown of Derby, KS, Katie's hometown of St. Paul, KS, and Brice and Katie's alma mater at Newman University – who are there to help out. However, spending three months in Memphis during Carter's treatment will take a financial toll on the Roberts family.
If you would like to support Carter Tough, we would love for you to make a donation to this Youcaring page. If you are unable to make a monetary donation to Carter, we would ask that you keep Carter and his family in your prayers!!!